"Yeah, for sure," Parsons said Tuesday when asked whether he wanted to play with Howard again. "I think he can still dominate the game. I think he can still be a great player in this league. And I think he's going to leave Houston. So why not come here?"
Said Howard of Parsons' vision: "Is he a prophet?"
Parsons played a major role in recruiting Howard to the Houston Rockets in 2013, when the Dallas Mavericks were among his other suitors in free agency. Parsons would like to try to recruit Howard to Dallas this summer, but Parsons first needs to be certain that he will re-sign with the Mavs after opting out of the final season of his three-year, $46 million contract.
"Obviously, it's tough to recruit if I don't know where I'm going," said Parsons, whose season ended early due to knee surgery for the second straight year.
"In the back of my head, Dallas is home to me. I loved it here. I came here to be a great player and to win a lot of games, and I've yet to do that here. I feel like I have a lot of unfinished business here [and] I would love to continue and grow into the player that I saw myself being when I signed here. The quicker we can get that done allows me to start recruiting and doing that whole thing."
It also remains to be seen how interested the Mavs' decision-makers are in pursuing Howard again. Sources have told ESPN that the Mavs have no intention of offering Howard a maximum contract, which would have a starting salary of more than $30 million annually. These plans are flexible, but sources said Howard's market would have to be significantly lower than that for the Mavs to make a push for the 30-year-old center whose production has plummeted the last two seasons.
Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki declined to comment when asked about Howard, although he has discussed potential free agent targets in the past during exit interviews.
"We have enough time to re-evaluate the franchise with [president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson and owner Mark Cuban] and see what guys are out there later on, so I don't think that's something I'm going to comment on for now," Nowitzki said.
Howard is occupied at the moment trying to help the Rockets avoid being eliminated in the first round by the Golden State Warriors. He has a player option for $23.3 million next season, but he is expected to decline that and seek a long-term deal.
"I don't pay attention to it," Howard said of the speculation. "It's 'he said, she said.' My job is to focus on being great tomorrow and helping this team win, not what anybody else has to say. Chandler is a close friend, but it's not about what he thinks or what he wants right now. It's about this team and what we're trying to accomplish.
"My focus is this basketball game. It doesn't matter what nobody on the outside says. We are friends, we are close, but none of that stuff matters right now. It's about this team and what we're trying to accomplish and who cares what anybody else says."
Parsons prides himself on being one of the NBA's premier recruiters. He helped get a verbal commitment from center DeAndre Jordan last summer, wining and dining the big man for weeks, only to have Jordan renege on his promise and return to the Los Angeles Clippers.
ESPN's Calvin Watkins contributed to this report.